Questions you should ask when buying your home

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Houses are major purchases and moving house often involves significant upheaval, even if you’re staying within the same local area. It is therefore hugely important to think carefully before you commit to a purchase, to make sure that you pick the right property for you. Here are five questions you should ask before even thinking about making an offer.

What locations are actually feasible for me now and for the foreseeable future?

It’s really important that you’re realistic about this. You need to identify locations which are practical for your needs for at least the next five years (and if you don’t know what your needs are likely to be over the next five years, then you might want to reconsider buying a home at this point). Think carefully about locations which involve challenging commutes. Will you really want to be dealing with such a slog to work during the cold seasons, year after year?

How much space do I actually need?

Similar comments apply to this question. The size of a property is generally a major factor in its price, so, if you’re on a tight budget, you usually want to avoid buying a bigger home than you actually need. On the other hand, if you take this too far, you could wind up feeling uncomfortably cramped. Again, be pragmatic about this. Decide what your lines in the sand are and where you can be flexible. For example, if you’re used to working out at home, think about whether a home work-out space really is a must-have or if you could exercise outdoors in decent weather and go to a gym on other days. Some private gyms support short-term membership and flexipasses and council gyms usually do.

What is my budget?

Set yourself an ideal budget and a stretch budget and do not let yourself get talked into seeing any property which exceeds the latter no matter how much an estate agent tries to convince you and even if they suggest that the vendor may accept a lower offer. If a property is outside your budget, then it’s outside your budget and that’s it, which means there’s no point in going to see it and possibly ending up either feeling bad that you can’t afford it or taking financially-bad decisions to try to be able to afford it.

Do I prefer newer properties or older properties?

This one really is a matter of taste, but it’s worth noting that there is a practical aspect to the question as well. Newer-build properties, by definition, are built to more modern standards. Older properties, also by definition, are not, although they can usually be updated at least to a certain extent. Even with updates, however, they may not be as economical to run as newer properties and there may be limits on what you can do with them, at least externally.

What is the seller’s situation?

If at all possible, you want to work with a seller who is clearly committed to a move. This vastly reduces the chances of them changing their mind about the sale and pulling out later. For the record, this is a rare occurrence, but it is worth noting.

Author Bio

Indlu are new hybrid estate agents in Manchester, offering a ‘no sale, no fee’ fixed price service to rival traditional high street estate agents in Eccles, Monton, Worsley and Manchester City Centre.

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